Car ex­tras add lit­tle to value

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

with Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard CON­SUMER Pro­tec­tion has con­cerns about the value of add-ons be­ing sold to peo­ple buy­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cles in WA.

There’s been a re­cent in­crease in com­plaints to Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion about the ve­hi­cle ‘ex­tras’ sold at the point of sale, such as ex­tended war­ranties, rust proof­ing, paint and fab­ric pro­tec­tion, and win­dow tint­ing. Costs may be rolled into a fi­nance deal, which can be very costly in the long run when you are pay­ing in­ter­est on the to­tal amount ow­ing.

Be­fore say­ing ‘yes’ to af­ter­sales prod­ucts, make your­self aware of the gen­eral mar­ket price for the items of­fered. If you do not shop around, how do you know it’s value for money?

You might also ask your­self why the man­u­fac­turer is not pro­vid­ing cer­tain after-sales prod­ucts with their ve­hi­cle. In most cases the sim­ple an­swer is that the man­u­fac­turer does not be­lieve the ve­hi­cle re­quires th­ese ad­di­tional prod­ucts.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence con­sumers of­ten sign up to buy things that will only add cost, will not in­crease the value of the car and may not de­liver what they think it might. It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber you do not have to pur­chase things such as win­dow tint, seat fab­ric pro­tec­tion, body paint pro­tec­tion or rust pre­ven­ter at the time you buy a ve­hi­cle.

After-mar­ket prod­ucts can be bought at a later date if you are still keen. How­ever, after driv­ing a car for a lit­tle while you may re­alise you no longer want, or need, par­tic­u­lar after-sale prod­ucts and that’s an­other rea­son to wait. An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is whether ad­ding cer­tain items that are not rec­om­mended by the man­u­fac­turer can jeop­ar­dise the war­ranty.

Speak­ing of war­ranties, se­ri­ously con­sider the value of an ex­tended war­ranty be­ing of­fered. It is likely that the pro­tec­tions are al­ready avail­able to you for free un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law (ACL). With new ve­hi­cles, the nor­mal man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty com­bined with ACL cover is usu­ally more than suf­fi­cient.

Be mind­ful that some ex­tended war­ranties of­fered for sale have re­stric­tions and con­di­tions you must com­ply with.

Car deal­ers may of­fer what ap­pears to be a good fi­nance deal but you should carry out some loan com­par­isons be­fore set­tling.

Gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about buy­ing cars is avail­able on the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion web­site www.com­merce.wa.gov.au/mo­torve­hi­cles and en­quiries can be made by email­ing con­sumer@ com­merce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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